New month and a new country, we arrived earlier then planed but decided not to check-in (because off overtime charges) and instead hoisted the yellow flag and stayed for the evening on board. We had read about different spots in the Doyle’s Cruisers guide book but when we got here to Roseau we understood that some mayor disaster had occurred and that what we read may not be accurate any longer. We checked Noonsite in hope for more recent info and the first line read
Dominica suffered a direct hit by category 5 hurricane Maria’s eyewall in September 2017. As much as 90% of the buildings on Dominica were destroyed and 100% of agriculture was wiped out. During the 2018 season schools reopened and repairs to building infrastructure are on-going, however the Island still needs help and the schools with supplies (see reports adjacent).
A lot is rebuilt but Some buildings are just abandoned still showing what the Hurricane Maria destroyed, a lot of those buildings are missing their roof.
There are two main places to anchor in Dominica it’s at Portsmouth or Roseau both located on the leeward side on the ‘island, Portsmouth in the north and Roseau (capital) in the south. The issue when we arrived in Roseau was that there was little shallow waters we had to get really close to land. Because of Maria there where no dinghy docks left and the beach were mostly rocks with swells, we where able to leave our dinghy at the local fishermen’s dock
Dominica is full of mountains and rainforest making it a perfect place for great hiking. So we bought a week hiking pass and set of on a hike to Middlehams falls our second day. The forestry ministry recommended us to go to Middlehams falls instead of Trafalgar due to crowds from the cruise ship, we took their advice but there where still a lot of people there when we got there. But they were all leaving So we got the waterfall to ourselves.
We continued our journey to see the fresh water lakes just north of the falls, before heading back to Roseau.
The next day we decided to chill and do some advertisement for new crew. The plan was to rest one day and hike to the boiling lake the day thereafter, but one of my scrapes had gotten infected and would not heal, so we cancelled boiling lake and heeded for Portsmouth one day earlier then planed.
Prince Rupert Bay that lies just outside of Portsmouth, is a perfect bay to anchor in.We had read about PAYS (Portsmouth Association Yatch Services) a group of people (mostly guides) that patrols the bay at night, to keep it safe, and helps new arrivals with Moorings or other services they need when traveling by boat. We decided to refill our propane gas bottle with Bonto one of the PAYS crew , even though we knew we could probably save some money doing it ourselfs, to help out a good cause.
On the way in we saw multiple boats stranded on the beach, probably from the hurricane. which intriged us, So we decided to take a beach walk to get a closer look.
On of the main attractions in Portsmouth is the Indian river tour, which is a 1.5h dinghy tour up the indian river where they filmed pirate of the Carribean Tia Dalma (calypso’s hut) .👇
So many people asked us to take the tour that we ended up not taking one, we decided to hike the the river instead
On the way back we noticed that the part of the river to the bush bar and Tia Dalma’s Were shallow. So we decided to walk in the river a bit then walk up to a trail that passed the bar. There was an issue with our plan…. finding the trail, we ended up not finding it so we went back. We still got to see some amazing nature so the walk was not a total loss.
On Sunday PAYS have a beach BBQ buffé for the Cruisers in the bay, with rum punch included. You can say that it truly had a punch. I learn that sea sickness tablets does not work on hangovers. The sail from Dominica was a total misery 😳. Note to self, do not ever repeat 😉